Standing Indian Campground

Let’s go camping?! Seriously! It’ll be fun. And there’s no better place than the Standing Indian Campground in the Nantahala National Forest of western North Carolina. (Some people might get upset that I’m letting you in on this secret.)

Situated 12 miles west of Franklin, NC off Highway 64, Standing Indian Campground, at the headwaters of the Nantahala River, offers 84 campsites and 3 group sites (for parties up to 25). Some sites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Others you can reserve in advance.

A campsite at Standint Indian CampgroundRV site at Standing Indian CampgroundGroup Campsite at Standing Indian CampgroundEach site offers a picnic table, fire ring with grill, lantern post, and tent or camper pad. Fresh water spigots and clean restrooms with flush toilets (a must for our kids!) and showers are available throughout the campground. There’s even a dump station close by for RVs.

We’ve always had wonderful experiences at Standing Indian (open April 1 – October 31). Situated at 3800 feet elevation and surrounded by 5000 foot peaks, Standing Indian is a cool, refreshing place in the hottest of summers. And everywhere you go you can hear the calming sound of running water.

In our experience, everyone’s friendly, the “hosts” are always available and ready to assist you, and people respect quiet hours. There’s always the pleasant smell of campfires, our kids seem to make “best friends” quickly, and it’s very dark at night – VERY dark, which is a great change from all the light pollution we’re used to these days.

Camp Store at Standing Indian Campground.Day Use area at Standing Indian Campground.Information Kiosk at Standing Indian Campground.So Much To Do!

There’s never a dull moment at Standing Indian. The whole family can play in the river and creeks, skip stones, go rafting, tubing, or kayaking, and even fish for trout (license required). You can walk around the campground, ride your bikes, go for umpteen different hikes on world class trails, visit the Appalachian Trail, ride your horses, visit waterfalls, or enjoy the views from Standing Indian Mountain and Albert Mountain.

If this sounds like too much for you, you can always stay at your campsite, reading books, writing your memoir, playing cards, meditating, napping, or simply recuperating from your hectic city life. Ahhh! Doesn’t that sound good?!

Plenty of space for people to ride bikes, walk, and play at Standing Indian Campground.Wade, soak, float, or fish in the Upper Nantahala River at Standing Indian Campground.Ride your bike on the roads or play in the river at Standing Indian Campground.The surrounding area even offers many outstanding excursions within a short drive of Standing Indian. And if you should need groceries (more than the small camp store offers) or want a restaurant, Franklin is only 20 minutes away.

Whatever you decide to do, you can always cap the day off sitting around a campfire telling stories or reminiscing with friends and family.

Perfect for a short weekend or an extended stay (up to 14 days!), Standing Indian Campground is right in the heart of an outdoor paradise. I suggest you avoid holidays unless you’re able to reserve a site in advance. You can check availability or make reservations at

With 84 campsites to choose from, Standing Indian Campground has the perfect spot for you.Park an RV, pitch a tent, or hang a hammock at Standing Indian Campground.The perfect place to skip stones at Standing Indian Campground.So Let’s Go Camping!

I could wax poetic, like Emerson or Thoreau, about the virtues of reconnecting with nature, but that would be presumptuous of me to think I can do it better than them. No! Instead, I’m just going to say, “Go camping at Standing Indian!” Really. Just do it! And take the whole family with you. You won’t be sorry!

Ever been to Standing Indian? Tell us about your wonderful experience in the comment section below.


From the intersection of 441 and 64 W in Franklin, NC, drive west on 64/Murphy Road for 11.8 miles. Turn left on W. Old Murphy Road (sometimes shown on maps as Allison Creek Rd). Drive 1.9 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 67. Drive an additional 1.9 miles to the Standing Indian Campground.

Cougars, Coyotes and Bears Oh My…

Don't Get EatenAnd Moose and Javelinas and Buffalo and…. Well, you get the picture.

It’s a good day when you come home from the wilderness in one piece. It’s an even better day when you’re not eaten by a wild animal.

Sure, it’s rare, but human attacks by wild animals do happen. We’ve all heard the stories. Some real. Some wildly exaggerated. Some completely made up.

So, what’s the real story behind wild animal attacks? What’s a myth? And what are the facts?

Just The Facts, Ma’am!

First of all, don’t let your imagination run wild. And don’t let it keep you from enjoying a hike in the woods. You’re at greater risk of injury in your own neighborhood than you are on a wilderness trail.

Simply arm yourself with the truth about wild animals, how to avoid them, what to do if you encounter one and, heaven forbid, how to survive an attack.

A little knowledge goes a long way. And a great place to start is with Dave Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals That Charge or Attack.

I’ve shared this book with lots of people over the years and every one of them has returned it relieved and at ease about wild encounters.

At less than one hundred pages, this informative book is a quick read and written in a very matter-of-fact style. Smith even provides references, which makes me feel better knowing he didn’t make things up.

“They say…”

In the midst of teaching you how to avoid and safely coexist with wild animals, Smith also dispels many of the myths and misinformation surrounding them.

For example, he addresses things like:

  • Should you fight back or play dead?
  • What wild animal kills more humans?
  • Do menstruating women need to be concerned?
  • When’s the best time of the day to avoid cougars?
  • Does Bear Spray really work?

Even though Smith’s book deals with North American animals, much of what he teaches about personal space and avoidance can be applied to many wild animals around the world.

Use Your Head

A lot of what Smith teaches is common sense. Don’t temp fate by seeing how close you can get for a photo op. And don’t assume that cuddly looking animal begging for food won’t rip your arm off.

There’s a reason why they’ve never been domesticated!

In other words, don’t be stupid! Most attacks are caused by human foolishness or negligence! (See video below.)

Do yourself – or someone you love – a favor and read Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten. It could save a life.

Have you had a close call with a wild animal? Tell us in the comments below how you avoided being injured.

See ya’ on the trail,

A quick search at YouTube will provide you with enough examples of what can happen when humans don’t respect the personal space of a wild animal. Here’s just one example. This woman was lucky – and she knows it.

An Introduction to Hammock Hanging

Well, it’s not really an introduction, per se. It’s more like an introduction to an introduction. How about we call it a book review?

The Ultimate Hang - An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping, written and illustrated by Derek Hansen

The Ultimate Hang – An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping, written and illustrated by Derek Hansen

I’ll just jump right in.

This is the best book I’ve found on hammock hanging – bar none. Heck, it’s more than a book – it’s a veritable cornucopia of resourceful information. A must have for any hammock hanger or hammock hanger wanna be.

The book is called “The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide to Hammock Camping” by Derek Hansen. And it has everything you ever wanted to know about using a hammock and then some.

What I like most about the book is that it’s short, to the point and easy to read. Not that I can’t handle more technical stuff or longer books, but who’s got time for it?

I’m the kind of guy that won’t read long birthday cards, so you can be sure I won’t waste my time on a book that takes too long to get to the point.

But don’t worry if you’re into that geeky, technical stuff. What’s great about Hansen’s book is that it has ALL the technical data you could ever want; calculations on how it hangs, measuring forces, different knots and fasteners and even a complete DIY section.

And like the title suggests, it’s illustrated. That’s right, tons of great and humorous illustrations.

Hennessy Hammock

This is my Hennessy Hammock Ultralite A-Sym

The topics covered include site selection, how to hang it, different types of hammocks, staying dry, staying warm and staying bug free.

Throughout the book you’ll also find QR codes you can scan for more info, great websites and even a “hammock hang calculator.”

Who knew a book could be so helpful and informative. In fact, the appendix alone is worth more than the price of the book itself. Seriously, I learned more in 130 pages than I did in four years of college. Don’t tell my folks.

You can learn more about this book and how to order it by visiting

And just for the record. I am not an affiliate or in any way paid for my stellar opinion of this book. It simply made a huge difference for me and I’d like to pass that onto other hammock hangers – or people looking at it as a possibility.

Are you a hammock hanger too? I’d love to hear about your experiences with hammocks, what you like about ’em, what you don’t like and what’s your favorite hammock. Please comment below.

See ya’ on the trail